I don’t agree with all of his interpretations, but there’s an interesting Atlantic post from Garrett Epps, “novelist and legal scholar”, on “the end of the Scalia Court and the beginning of the Roberts one“:
… Though the faces will be the same, the Court that appears from behind the curtain on October 1 will not be the one that vanished behind it on June 28. The last Term will have rearranged relationships, alliances, and lines of power. The Court is now, in fact as well as name, the Roberts Court. The Chief Justice is the premier player both sides must deal with. His ascent may coincide with a significant fall.
October 1 may be the first day of the post-Scalia era.
I have flashback dreams of the agonizing 2011 term… [F]or me the winning words were: “That’s enough frivolity for a while,” uttered by the Chief Justice to Scalia during the final day of the health-care marathon. Scalia had interrupted argument of this generation’s most important case to begin riffing on an old Jack Benny radio routine. The Chief Justice was not amused. He shot a venomous look at Scalia and told him, in barely civil words, to shut up. That same look flickered across Roberts’s face on June 25, when Scalia embarrassed the Court with his rant against Obama during the opinions on the Arizona case. (That monologue, I think, may have been the inspiration for Clint Eastwood’s speech in Tampa.)
For years it has been clear that Antonin Scalia assumes he is the smartest, funniest, most important person in any room. I don’t think John Roberts agrees….
I have always assumed that Roberts considered himself the humble acolyte serving Cardinal Scalia loyally on all topics; if he’s finally realized who’s actually holding the big gavel… well, I’m not sure it will be a better court for those of us in the reality-based community, but watching the fireworks will at least be a diversion.